Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fighting for What's Right

Okay, I need to vent here.

Does anyone agree with me that if you call yourself a Christian, regardless of your political position, who you voted for, or what you think of the "stimulus" package (otherwise named by Mike Huckabee as the
Congressional
Relief
Action
Plan)
that you need to put God's law above man's law? When did Christians in this country decide that it was okay to water down God's law, accept things that are TOTALLY against His Word (abortion, gay marriage)?? It makes me CRAZY! You can't have it both ways.

I am SO not perfect, not will I ever be this side of heaven. But if something goes against the Law of God, I will not buy it, believe it, or support it. Can I get an Amen???

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My little Jacob

Oh my child cracks me up. It is one of the most hilarious things to me to hear MY expressions coming out of his mouth...it also shows me exactly how Doug and I talk, because we are living with a little mina-bird.

Yesterday I said, okay, buddy, time to brush your teeth! And he said, "Are you kidding me?" I about fell over laughing. Doug said something (muttering about the TV program that was on or something) which I won't repeat (wasn't THAT bad) but Jacob said it word for word. I looked at Doug and I was like, um, THAT's gotta stop!

About 2 weeks ago, he was playing with a puzzle right in the walkway. I asked him to pick it up and move it. He ignored me. So I asked him again, and told him he would get a spanking if he didn't move it. He just looked at me. So he got a swat. Nothing. Finally, he said, (in a voice dripping with sarcasm) "Okay, I'll do my job." How can you not laugh???

I've been writing stuff down on the calendar so I don't forget these things...good idea from my sister Lori. Jacob has a little cold right now, so PLEASE PRAY that it goes away FAST and I don't get it. I have a lot I want to do this week!!!

Update on me: my back is doing much better...after 3 chiropractic treatments...I go back Thursday or Friday. The Fosamax didn't make me nearly as sick this Sunday as last, and I'm doing okay strength wise. Yay!

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

As the World Churns

Seriously. I think I need to write a soap opera. I cannot make UP the things that happen to me. At least not all at once, or all right in a row. It's almost funny. Almost.

So I've had a sore back for a week or so, nothing major. I've been careful, lifting Jacob as little as possible. Icing it, taking Motrin, etc. One thing I cannot control is my ridiculous, chronic cough. So I'm doing suction (cleaning out my trach) and I have a MAJOR coughing fit. I feel my back pop. Instant 10 on a 1-10 pain scale. Whoa. I start bawling (my answer for everything... ; ) and first call my hubby. Then I call his chiropractor...and the lady says I can't get in as a new patient until Tuesday. She said she would check with him, but couldn't guarantee anything. I'm bawling again at this point from the pain, and she sounded sympathetic. She called back and said 5:30 tonight. I was like GOD BLESS YOU!!!

If you EVER need a chiropractor, go to Dr. Lou. (Riverfront Chiropractic). His real name is like Luciano Giovannucci....something extremely Italian. But he is the kindest, most compassionate man. He came in on weekends when Doug really messed his back up. Can you imagine a doctor coming in on a Sunday to open his clinic for one patient?? That's this guy. He is amazing. SO... really, go to him. He's in Allegan.

Anywho. So I call Joanna and see if she can watch Jacob, because I know we will be there for a while. She of course agrees, because she's that kind of friend. (Love ga girl!) Shout out to Fred and the boys, too, for giving up an evening for us! So I get to the chiro. and he starts by poking here and there, and then takes x-rays. I have a twisted pelvis, a curved spine for the first 5 vertebrae (however you spell that) from the pelvis, and arthritic hips. I'm like, a twisted pelvis. OF COURSE! Apparently the back muscles were pretty messed up, to the point of moving the bones out and twisting the pelvis. It was hysterical to look at because nunmber one, how many of us see our own pelvis on x-ray, and number two, one side was totally lower than the other.

So on with the torture. I mean treatment! (Not Dr. Lou's fault...I have fibromyalgia, so when you push on certain pressure points it feels like someone's driving a railroad spike through your body with a sledge hammer.) So he says my muscles are in spasm (I knew I could be a spaz) and if he tried to move the bones manually it would just get worse. So he gets out the "massager." I didn't look, but Doug said it looked exactly like a sander. Doc says, yah, you could probably do this at home, but take the sandpaper off first. Chuckle chuckle. So while I'm being buffed and sanded under about 1300 psi, I'm wondering what could be next. So then he gets out his "adjustor." He says, "It sounds kinda of like a staple gun." He DID NOT say it would FEEL like staple gun. Whoa. Talk about agony. Like a hammer going into you with an ice pick on the end instead of the flat part. Again, the fibro made it that much worse.

The BEST part was the table. It stands up, and then you lean on it and it brings you down flat.... like a mini roller coaster. Pretty cool.

So I had to go back yesterday morning for the same procedures. I must say, the actual muscle that was spasming has calmed down some, I think, but now the area of pain has spread from about the middle of my back down through my left cheek. NICE. BUT....(no pun intended) it's more like a 5 now on a scale from 1-10, just a bigger area of 5.

But as Doug and I were talking last night, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...If I listed everything that has gone wrong with me, even just since October...the flu shot gone wrong, the spots, the arm biopsies, the arthritis, the huge doses of prednisone, the mood swings, weight gain, the blown left wrist, the twisted pelvis and spine... And that doesn't even include the MG, the trach, the diabetes or the fibro! It seriously seems like a soap opera...hey, maybe there's profit to be made here!

The only thing is I don't have a sister who's having an affair with my husband who really turns out to be my brother by another mother, or a father who really is my cousin, and I'm not pregnant with an alien baby, or even with twins from two fathers! So I guess maybe the soap script will have to wait.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WOW

It was as if I heard from the mouth of God this morning when I read my e-mail. First, an encouraging note (via facebook) from a dear old friend, and then this, from my pastor friend in the Philippines, who is facing flood-ravaged land. God, who could have just ignored me or told me to stop my whining and grow up, instead lovingly and in His infinite mercy, gently explained the following to me:

Scripture: II Corinthians 1:3-4 "Blessed be God ... Who comforted us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort that we ourselves are comforted by God."

Paul declares that God comforts us in all of our tribulations so that we may be able to comfort others who are in any kind of trouble. Hardships are not fun, but they work together for good in our lives to bring us to a better understanding of the situations that others are facing. We can't give others hope for the mountaintop if we haven't successfully made it through the shadows in the valley. We can't direct someone through a tunnel of depression if we haven't experienced the darkness of a wounded spirit ourselves. Nor can we mend those with a broken heart if we've never experienced disappointment. We could never understand the anxieties of those who are facing financial lack if we have no understanding in that area. And how could we ever be touched with the physical suffering and pain of others if our own infirmities had not birthed compassion in our soul?

Comforting others is a ministry in itself, for out of the greatest pain comes the sweetest songs of assurance. The hard places in our past show us how to bring deliverance to the wounded. The emotional trials that we have faced allow us to be able to be touched by their feelings. And because we have cried, we know how to wipe away their tears. Because we have faced dry desert places and then experienced God in fresh new ways, we can assure them that God will also prepare a stream in their desert. Because we have gone through grief and sorrow, we can assure them that their season of joy will come again. Because we have been weary ourselves and have carried heavy burdens, we know how to encourage and lift their heavy load. And because we have found it necessary at times to lean on the prayers of others, we are able to give ourselves easily to intercession when prayer is needed.

The hurting never run to those who have never suffered. And likewise, those who need counsel and a Faith Filled Thought never seek out those without experience. We are not above our Master. Jesus suffered and was touched by the feelings that we would experience and was tempted in all of the temptations that He knew we would face (Hebrews 4:15). He gave Himself to pain so that He could become a valid comforter through the Holy Spirit. So, even though suffering is hard for us, it brings with it an education that is of greater benefit than earning a degree. Suffering creates a dwelling place in our heart for the compassion of God and it develops a skillfulness that enables us to minister according to the will of God. At the end, we are able to agree with the Apostle Paul and say,

"Blessed be God ... Who has comforted me in all my tribulations so that I may be able to comfort others who are in any trouble."

Thank you to all my dear friends, and maybe some I don't even know, who pray for me. I want to be able to comfort anyone who needs it. If YOU need comfort, first seek God. Then, I would love to pray for you or hear your story. Leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Focusing

Today is another day where I just have to start counting my blessings outloud before I lose my mind and end up in the looney bin. I'm starting by listing what's NOT wrong with me. (Yes, I am being serious).

1. I don't have cancer.
2. I not blind.
3. I'm not deaf.
4. I am seriously, seriously grateful for 1, 2 and 3.
5. I'm not in a wheelchair.

6. I have a loving, protective, providing, amazing husband.
7. I have a little boy who thinks I hung the moon.
8. I have a God who, even though right now I"m ticked off and acting like my two-year old will forgive me, and love me all the same.
9. I have friends who truly care about me, and tell me so.
10. My husband has a secure job in an unsteady economy.
11. I have one mom, and one dad, they are still married, they love each other and they both love me.
12. I have a wonderful, warm house and lots of room for Jacob to run around.
13. The sky is blue and the sun is shining.
14. I have chickens and I love them.
15. I have a computer with which I can communicate with my wonderful friends.
16. I know I'll go to heaven when I die.
17. I think I found a new church to go to.
18. My mom is one of my best friends.
19. I am a fighter.
20. My husband and son are HEALTHY.

For those of you who are struggling with life right now, I encourage you to do the same. I know it sucks to always have to think of someone who is worse off than you, but the fact is, there are MANY who are worse off. Even the worst of we Americans have the best compared to many other people and countries. That doesn't mean that we will always be happy and jumping for joy. Think about this:

"A thing is only worth that which it cost."-----Oswald Chambers.

I think of what I went through to have my son, and he is truly priceless. The cost made him worth even more.

Look UP today, folks, and let's find SOMETHING, or better yet, someONE to be thankful for.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stop the Ride I want to exit!

Finally got the "official" news from the doctor yesterday. I have a moderate risk of increased fractures and bone loss has occurred. So yeah. I'm 38 and I have osteoporosis.

If it weren't so sad if would be hilarious. I mean, it's really all stemming from one thing...the MG. Because if I didn't have the MG, I wouldn't have the trach. I wouldn't have needed all the steroids, so I wouldn't be diabetic. I also wouldn't have an old woman's disease. It seems like if there could be a complication there will be. Lucky, lucky me. And then in between I get all this crazy stuff, like spots! It's really quite laughable.

On a much brighter note, my child is a genius. He was kind of mumbling something the other day and then I hear, "What animal is it? Big floppy ears....and a trunk!" And he looked at me expectantly. I said, "An elephant?" And he said, "Yay, Mommy!" Then he said, "What animal is it? tiny and eats carrots!" And I'm like, "A bunny rabbit?" And he said, "Mmmm-Hmmm!"

Yesterday he described something as "dinky". I asked if that meant big or small. He looked at me like I was a complete idiot and said, "Small!"

He is hysterical. He's learning to put "s" sounds on the ends of words and he sounds like a teeny tiny Humphrey Bogart. He's getting SO big though....I can barely lift him into his crib. This weekend we are transforming it into his toddler bed. We'll see what happens then...if he stays in it!

Thank God for my precious little boy. Even though half the time I feel like HE got the short stick with me for a mom, what with all my "complications"...I feel like I won the lottery to have HIM.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Irritation sets in.....

So if you get medicine in the mail (I used Medco so I can get 3 months at a time) for osteoporosis after having a bone density scan, but you haven't talked to a doctor, what does that mean???

Yah. That's what I thought. I never heard from anyone the results of my test, yet I get medication in the mail to treat osteoporosis. LOVELY. Just freakin' lovely. Oh, yeah, and yesterday my knee started hurting....that's been the beginning of the whole joint pain parade, so we'll see. I'm down to 15/10 mg of prednisone every other day...I thought once I made it past 20 with no pain I was in the clear.

We'll just have to see what happens. Oh, how I would LOVE one more health challenge. Could I, please? I was just reading (Oswald Chambers, If you would ask) that we all have a cross to bear, and it's not pleasant. Boy was he right. Mine is getting pretty darn heavy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Church

God is so funny. Truly.

I decided it was time to try church again. So yesterday, I went to The River. I went with the attitude of, "I'm not going to like it, I want to be unapproachable, just a fly-on-the-wall." Well that was all shot to you know where when I walked in the door. The pastor shook my hand and welcomed me. He had jeans on. : ) I heard a slight crackling sound in my wall.

I sat down, and within a moment, someone plops down in front of me and says, "I know you!" It was Jacob's speech therapist from Early On. I was like, no way. The walls I came in with were starting to crack.

Praise and worship started....other than singing a few songs I wasn't familiar with, it was pretty cool. Great bass player, bongo's (LOVE LOVE LOVE)...very enthusiastic, kind of worship-how-you-want. You want to sway back and forth, cool. You want to stand stock still, fine. You want to raise your hands, go for it.

There was a man behind me on the left that I would catch out of the corner of my eye during praise and worship, and I was like, gosh he looks familiar. Then, after singing, we did the hand shake thing, and the man next to Familiar Face shook my hand and introduced himself. Then, Familiar Face shook my hand...one of those two handed ones...I've only met 2 people who have done that when shaking my hand; both were older gentlemen, and both were 2 of the warmest people I've ever met. Anywho....

I see his name tag and my jaw drops, and I say, "You were my pastor when I was 8 years old!!!" (Chink, chunk, crash...a few bricks fall off my wall....) I told him my maiden name, and it was just crazy.

After a wonderful, relevant message, I was just going to sneak out without a lot of meet and greet. Pastor Jon grabbed my hand again and asked how I was, how I liked the service. I told him I enjoyed it a lot. (On my way out.)

I'm in the place between the inner and outer doors (the word for which escapes me right now...) and my former Pastor comes running out. He wanted to chat for a minute, get "my story", find out how I ended up there...I told him that my husband and I had been severely disappointed with the last 3 churches we attended at one time or another during the last 8 years, mostly surrounding my illness and the birth of Jacob. Before I said ANYTHING about what upset us, or what caused us to leave, he said, "I want you to know that I am a counseling here, free of charge, and I would just love to sit with you and talk to you about these hurts and tell you that the people here will come along side you and love you and help you. They can bring meals" and so on and so forth....I just started bawling. (I should also mention that I saw at least 3 handicapped people in wheelchairs in the service...lots of disabled people for the size of the crowd. That alone speaks volumes!)

So, appropriately, we went back inside to the "cry room". This was so amazing, because it's EXACTLY what we need for Jacob, but he couldn't possibly have known this! I am nervous about putting Jacob in nursery because of the germs, and I went on to explain this to him. They have this room, called the crying room, where you can take your child if they are loud in any way (children stay in the service for everything but the message, but Jacob would be in there for that too). It's a fairly good size room, probably 10 x 10, comfy chairs, a huge window and speakers so you can see and hear everything, and yet not have your child disturb anyone. It was the PERFECT thing for us. He couldn't have known.

Clunk, crash, splat....more bricks are history. Needless to say, I don't believe in coincidence, so it appears as if Doug and I will be continuing to check out this church. I still have some hesitancy, because we HAVE heard all this before....but this time it really feels different. I'm also not going to start serving immediately. This time we are TOTALLY testing the waters before we jump. But I have a feeling we will be landing in a soft place.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Dichotomy of Life

It's so crazy. One minute up, one minute down. At the same time crazy busy with 500 things going on, and yet, bored.

Good news: My lungs are feeling much better, and I have had virtually NO blood or clots for 24 hours!!!! Now we are so happy we do the dance of joy!!!

Jacob went pee pee on the potty Monday night at bathtime! Well, he actually went pee pee on the FLOOR while sitting on the potty, but who cares! We made a VERY big deal out of our big boy!

Monday I had so much energy I did a load of dishes, vacuumed the bathroom, vacuumed the corners of the kitchen and bathroom, and MOPPED the bathroom floor. I literally couldn't tell you the last time I mopped....it's been years. Then after naptime I did a load of laundry and took a shower! There have been MANY days when even ONE of these activities would have been a miracle!

Bad news: Tuesday I felt something "pop" in my left wrist. I have carpal tunnel and am trying to wait out surgery until Jacob is a little bigger. So I'm sure it's that acting up, and if I keep it wrapped really tight and don't do anything too crazy, I'm okay.

Yesterday I was super tired, today I'm doing okay. I guess the sooner I realize I need to roll with the punches, the better off I'll be! I've never been a change-addict, but I am learning. I'm a bit of a slow learner in this area, but I AM makind progress.

Well, that's it for now. Jacob is having a meltdown over Mickey Mouse.

Is it just my child, or do all toddlers change their tiny little minds every 20 seconds? I put Mickey Mouse on because that's what he asks for. Five minutes later he's stroking out because he wants to watch Clifford. So I change it. Then five minutes later he's acting like he just lost his best friend, and starts bawling for Mickey Mouse. Stomping and whining. Oh the joys of motherhood!!!

But seriously; He's usually such a good boy that these mini-freak outs are really no big deal. Unless they last from 9 AM til 5 or so...then we're ready for a cocktail or a rubber room. Or both.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My precious Jacob

I was looking at Jacob yesterday afternoon, and was just STRUCK by how adorable he is. It seems like at least once a day I look at him and think, "I can't believe I get to keep him!" This amazing child is part of ME! He must have gotten a lot from Doug, because I see things in him that I don't see in myself. He is amazing. He is fearless. He is strong. He is carefree. He loves without condition. He attacks life. He goes full tilt until he collapses into sleep. And God decided to bless me with him. Wow.


We were painting yesterday, and oh my goodness does this child love to paint. He usually starts on paper, but then he just can't help but put his hands in it. (By the way, Crayola washable paint is just that, washable! I thought I had ruined clothes many a time, but it truly washes right out!)

So he starts on the paper, then starts the "splatter method"---smacking his paintbrush down into a big ol puddle of paint. Last night, after completely splattering his face, and thoroughly covering his hands, he started "smooshing" his cheeks. (He will do this to me...put one hand on each side of my face and smoosh.) Then the paintbrush usually starts going up his nose. And that's right before the hands go in the hair. So whenever we paint, we know bathtime is not far away.

I still don't know what I did to deserve this amazing child. Last night after he fell asleep I was just staring down at him in his crib. Angels can't be as beautiful. My heart just bursts with love for this child. I can't imagine my life without him.

Another perfect example of how God's plans prevail. If Doug and I had been successful with the in vitro 4 1/2 years ago, it would not have been Jacob that Lynelle carried for us. And while I know I would have loved that baby just as much, I can't FATHOM not having Jacob just the way he is. I remember how devastated I was when I didn't respond to the fertility drugs. It seemed then, of course, that everywhere I looked someone was pregnant, or just had a child. I couldn't imagine why God wouldn't let this work.

But now I know. Jacob was my planned child. God knew exactly what kind of baby, what kind of child I would need to be able to take care of him while Doug was at work. I'm so thankful that MY plans didn't work out.

Jacob, my sweet, sweet boy....Mommy loves you more than you could ever know. You stole my heart from the moment I knew I carried you. And I imagine it will be yours until the day I die.